LINCOLN – Excitement is building as the Nov. 14 opener of Nebraska’s firearm deer season approaches.
Hunting prospects look good as restrictions on antlerless deer permits in recent years have resulted in deer population increases in most areas of the state.
Among the advantages of deer hunting in Nebraska are the ample opportunities on private and public land, the opportunities for mixed bag hunting, and youth deer permits for $6, including issuing fee.
The Open Fields and Waters program offers public walk-in hunting access on private property, with sites displayed in the 2015 Public Access Atlas. Available public ground includes nearly 250 state-owned wildlife management areas. Hunting is allowed on private property if permission is granted.
Plenty of permits are still available. Permits and stamps may be purchased at OutdoorNebraska.org or at any Game and Parks permitting office. To check the availability of remaining permits, visit the website, then click on Buy a Permit, then Remaining Permits.
OutdoorNebraska.org is an excellent resource for deer hunters. View the 2015 Big Game Hunting Guide and the 2015 Public Access Atlas a hunting trip. Find hunting sites using the site’s interactive maps or find areas to camp and make reservations through the site.
Hunters are reminded to that anyone hunting deer with a firearm permit during a firearm season must wear blaze orange. This includes archers hunting during the firearm season.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission offers these additional reminders:
— Only take good shots into a vital organ. The best shot is made on a broadside or quarter-away deer and hits the heart and lungs.
— Have a plan for the cleaning, cooling, transporting and processing of deer.
— Firearm deer hunters and archers harvesting deer during the firearm season must deliver their deer to a check station no later than 1 p.m. on the day following the close of the season. They should locate a check station that they intend to use before the start of the season. Visit OutdoorNebraska.org for an updated list of check stations.
— Hunters may donate their deer to the Hunters Helping the Hungry Program, which provides ground venison to Nebraskans in need. Visit http://www.outdoornebraska.com/hunting/programs/HHH/index.asp for more information.
— Visit HuntSafeNebraska.org to learn about Hunter Education.
— Call Nebraska Wildlife Crimestoppers toll-free at 800-742-7627 to report game law violations.
The firearm season closes on Nov. 22.